Re: Eyes Like Windows

She didn't like that he was choosing to pay for the gown on display, and she gave a protesting sound but closed her mouth because she had a feeling that he would out stubborn her. The dress really was beautiful, she thought, reluctantly letting the woman usher her away to try it on. It was slightly loose on her, but it didn't matter much to her. The dressmaker clapped her hands at the sight of her in the gown, praising her for her beauty and even having her assistant help to make the girl's hair less of a mop after her untimely dip within the canal.

It was about an hour later when she emerged, hair dried and coiffed as if she was meant to look like some rich miss, which she was not, her eyes looking somewhat wider than they were from the khol that lined them, which she reluctantly let the assistant do but refused rouge and lip color. The corset lifted her small breasts, the skirts swept wide and graceful about her, and she looked quite shy about the way she emerged a butterfly from a cocoon of wool. Her shoes couldn't be helped, they were still damp and dangled from her fingertips because they would ruin the stockings that now adorned her feet.

At the sight of him, she turned around, and the seamstress caught her by the shoulders and turned her back around, "Why, you don't need to hide yourself, my dear, you're an enchantress. Isn't she, Signore?!" The compliment was genuine, not just because the girl was wearing one of her creations and doing justice to it. The woman even went so far as to grab the plain boots and toss them with the wet clothing. "She needs shoes to match and I have just the thing. Those ugly things need to dry and I won't have them ruin those pretty stockings. Do you agree?"

Lucrezia's cheeks burned and she opened her mouth, "I have money for shoes, Signora." Goodness, but the whole concept of dressing like a noble or a gentile, well, it was enough to cause her to feel overwhelmed. How the Signora even acted like she was going to swoon at the sight of her sturdy, sensible garb! She'd declared what a travesty it was to waste her beauty on such drab clothing. Lucrezia had had to swallow a laugh at the well meaning woman, for it was a bit much, indeed,

She gave a long suffering look to Phillipe, as if begging him to hurry the woman along like it would make her go away that much faster. The woman seemed to yammer on and on as she retrieved the matching shoes, helping the young woman into them, fussing about as she tailored the slippers to fit dainty feet, and Lucy looked almost like she was about to make the gesture of the invisible gun to her temple.

@Phillipe Gastonne
word count: 500

Re: Eyes Like Windows

Had he been able to read her mind, he would agree with the fact that he could out stubborn her. Call it a French trait, or was it simply one of a man who thought now and then a woman should get what she wanted? He was no fool, he had seen the look she had given to the dress, and it had stirred something within him to actually spending the money in order to dress her in it. There was a war on, one which could shape the face of Europe unlike any before it, so what was the price of a dress in the grand scheme of things?

Thankfully the shop had a place to sit, for him to await her return, hearing little sounds now and then from beyond the curtains for privacy. Wine had continued to flow, sending out one of the seamstresses to a nearby tavern in order to have a steady drink while he waited. The latest letters and newspaper from Paris had been tucked in his bag while he had fished, so now he took the time to plunge into them, learning what he could, or perhaps learning what his father, and godfather had said was coming to pass. France was changing, it had to change, or else it would die on its own.

Thankfully thoughts of impending disaster in his home country were brushed away at the sound of the owner of the shop. Eyes rose, and a smile could not help but form as he noted Lucrezia in her new clothing. Wry little smile of his, as brazenly his eyes would move over her from head to toe, then back to her eyes. A small nod given, he liked it, but it would be her opinion which mattered the more upon it. About that time the lady began to mention shoes, and a small nod would follow.

“Aye, shoes are fine, make sure they are sturdy however, far too often I’ve seen what remained of fancy shoes which could not handle the streets of this city.”

Phillipe could not help that smile once more, he saw the way she looked at him, as though she suffered mightily at the hands of the woman who was dressing her in finery. Not that he minded, more than once in his life he had to dress in things above his station just to make a good impression, besides, he had seen her look when she saw the dress the first time, so she wasn’t going to get any pity from him, at least not right then. Though it would not last forever, as with the slippers being placed on her feet, he would rise to his own, stretching with a loud, long yawn, a sort of hint to the older woman dressing her.

“After food, I may need a nap it seems, I was close to one before someone dropped a perfectly good lady in the canal, but I’ll manage after we get you fed, warmed, and your clothes dry.”

@Lucrezia Capone
word count: 511

Re: Eyes Like Windows

The woman finally had the slippers done, and said, "Are you sure you do not wish for me to simply have the clothing and boots taken to where she lives? I will gladly send my assistant with no extra charge." It was Lucrezia who piped up, "Please... I am right here, Signora, and I will happily accept. I do not wish to waste anymore of your time, now. We should be off." For the love of God, please get me away from this madwoman who pricked me one too many times with her needle and gossiped about people I do not even know! Ugh! That last part was obviously left unsaid... She wasn't impolite after all. Why, the seamstress just... drove her to madness is all. As soon as the woman stepped out of the way, Lucrezia stepped away and walked toward Phillipe. The expression on her rather animated face was clear: she did not want to be there anymore.

As she neared him, the scent of lilac would subtly drift toward his nostrils... She looked, for all intents and purposes, like a proper young lady of good fashion. Her eyes lifted to his and she murmured, "Thank you. But don't buy this kind of thing for me again, please. Should you wish to see me again... I mean... I'd hate to ruin it. It's far too beautiful for someone like me, a peasant." She lowered her eyes then and sighed, "It's the most beautiful gown I have ever put on."

With that, heat filled her cheeks and assuming he was ready to go, waited for him to lead the way outside and to the next destination. Already, she was warmer, which she appreciated. Unfortunately, it came too late because she was already feeling the urge to sneeze. Oh dear... But perhaps that was because she was in wet clothes for so long. And she was feeling a sense of guilt for a man who was not at fault for her being a wet, bedraggled mess just bought her an expensive outfit because he wanted to.

Lucy's brow furrowed, both from the pounding in her head and the guilt. It seemed she was deep in thought, for she remained silent for most of their journey to the eatery. And before they would turn into the edifice, she turned to peer at him with eyes that spoke of a wariness. What was he about? What were his intentions? She was so confused about him, about what he wanted out of this... If at all. And even though she was starting to look like the cold definitely had taken hold, the sunlight still played on her temporarily pale skin and she made no effort to shade herself. She was definitely not refined.

"Why did you buy the gown? I could have paid for a lesser one." There... She said it when they weren't in front of that fluttering woman.

@Phillipe Gastonne
word count: 496

Re: Eyes Like Windows

There was a sense of humor within the man’s eyes as he watched her. That she was being pampered in some senses was driving her nuts, and she wouldn’t know that, but it endeared her to him in a way that not much could. Though Phillipe was good at keeping his thoughts hidden within his head, and not giving them away through his eyes. Mirth was easy to see however, a good natured smile which had settled upon his lips as she neared him, and gave warning to not buy her such an item again.

“You won’t ruin it, because unlike a rich lady who takes everything for granted, you will cherish and love the dress. Besides, when I saw the light reach your eyes when you saw it, the way your breath caught in your throat, how could I simply ignore that? So, I cannot, or perhaps will not promise I will not buy you anything like this in the future, were I given the chance. If you decide that is enough to bid me adieu, I will not hold it against you.”

Truth was the very essence of one’s life, life, especially for a cavalryman was far too short to besmirch it with telling lies after all. With her very much ready to leave, he paid the woman for the dress, and the shoes, before the two of them left the shop. There was that smile once more as he got a good look of her within that fabric, under the light of the sun. Her hair was a unique shade of red, lighter now than it had been when she had come out of the canal. With her no longer being wet, the blanket had been rolled up, and tucked under his arm as they headed down the way toward the food that had been their initial destination.

Her question was not unexpected, and he had mentioned it before as to his reasons, but he could understand the thought process perhaps. In Paris, if a man bought a woman a dress like that, it was because he was going to enjoy taking it off of her, and have her repay him for the purchase by spreading her thighs. Not that Phillipe would turn down the invitation, but it had not been at the forefront of his reasons for buying it.

“Don’t worry, I don’t intend to hold it against you, or feel as you owe me in anything. It was a beautiful dress, and I could not live with myself if I left it hanging there in that shop, instead of fulfilling its purpose by hugging the every curve of a beautiful woman.”

@Lucrezia Capone
word count: 454

Re: Eyes Like Windows

She wasn't sure how to respond to him. Her eyes moved down to the beautiful gown she wore... Calloused fingers, healing now as she no longer toiled as a maid or farm girl, but rather, mingled with the rich and noble for her pay; played along the rich fabric. He was right: she would treasure the dress because it was a gift and it was something she would never know otherwise. Her eyes then lifted to his face and she had a look that spoke volumes. A simple nod was the only answer he would receive from her on that one, because there weren't words poised on her tongue. For someone so outspoken most times, it was clear she was tongue tied.

When it came time to pay the woman for the gown and shoes, he paid for them even though she said she would at least pay for them. She made a sound but he was probably going to ignore any protest, so instead of saying anything... Well... She couldn't. She simply sighed and let him do as he please, and he wanted to dress her prettily. Well then... She lifted her chin and peered at him, her brows puckered slightly. She pressed her lips together and gave a slight smile, and then they left the shop.

Lucrezia remained silent as they walked, watching him momentarily as he placed the blanket under his arm. Then he called her beautiful and she stopped walking to peer at him more fully with her eyes softening a little. She looked down. "Phillipe, you shouldn't say such things." Was she blushing? Yes, yes she was. Her cheeks went pink, she bit her lip. "The dress is beautiful, thank you," was said after some hesitation. She seemed to be warming up to him even with some hesitation.

She moved to stand in front of him and said quietly, "You're right that I would treasure this as the gift it is." Her gaze was now searching his, "But you have little faith in me if you think I would walk away from you just because you bought me a gift that you should not have. It's true that I am wary... But I do not understand this. I won't pretend to." Her thoughts went back to the two nights she spent with Ruggi. She felt the confusion of her heart with him. She'd said to him that she needed time, time to think about what he was asking her. He was to be married, he said, and that would mean she would be second in his heart. She couldn't do it... She had to stay away. And now here she was, her belly clenching with the familiar feeling of attraction... For another man. Not because he bought her the damn gown, but because he didn't expect anything out of her... He didn't even act the way Ruggi did, asking her to go with him, asking her to make a choice that changed her life forever.

"It's been strange for me. I met someone... I made a mistake... I am afraid to make it again. Yet the more I talk to you, the more I like you..." She gave a slight chuckle and licked her lips, then continued... "And I find myself wanting to know you. So, Phillipe... Unless you told me to walk away now, I'm afraid you promised me a meal."
word count: 580

Re: Eyes Like Windows

He had heard those comments before. Not understanding what one was feeling, but it happened quite often in these years. Isn’t that how they should be at that age? Exploring things they did not know, simply for the sake of knowing them after all? As she moved around to face him in the midst of the street, a brow could not help but rise, but it was quickly softened by a smile which could not help but seem so fitting on those lips.

“Is it not human nature to err? Making mistakes is an allowance we are given. Humans make a mistake, which is our right, our curse, and at times our pleasure. We are given free rein to find our way through life for better or ill. Though, if you consider me a mistake, I will do my best to help you make sure you do not make it.”

It looked like despite being born a Frenchman, Phillipe actually had something which was odd, a soul? That smile returned, as she had mentioned the food. That was right, he had promised her some of the best seafood which he had found in that city, and his search had been quite intensive, for the man had loved everything about seafood, despite being from a location a bit far inland. Though, he did love to fish, so that made it all better in his mind. Wink would be flashed her way as he stepped beside her, so she was no longer facing him, and offered his arm.

“So, shall we go sate our hunger on the denizens of the ocean, cooked to perfection in wine? I imagine the wine will be rather good as well, always need good drink, else it limits the taste of the shellfish.”

Expert from birth he was not, however, since moving there, he had eaten it nearly daily, to his own dismay, because of how much he had fallen in love with the seafood culture. His nation might have been at war hundreds of miles away, but there he was, splurging on seafood, and taking beautiful women to dress shops. Thankfully it was not a long walk, even in a pretty dress; she must have felt a little warm there in the summer. The mostly outdoor, but under shade dining area would prove enjoyable, for it had a view of the water, something he had not yet gotten tired of seeing.
word count: 406

Re: Eyes Like Windows

"I don't know if you are a mistake or otherwise right now. Part of me feels as if you are trying to woo me and then there is part of me that... Likes the thought of you wooing me. But being wary is something I cannot help. I almost gave my heart to the first man I lay my eyes upon, and I would rather not play second to his wife." Oh, but he'd gotten her blood so warm those nights of bliss, he'd been so considerate, yet him being married? Oh... That had been enough to keep her from going to see him again. And he had never tried to contact her either... Which gave her the answer as to if she should go to him or not. And now she stared at another situation that might prove to be just as... dangerous if she wasn't careful? She didn't know.

She took his offered arm and they started to walk again toward the restaurant he was taking her to. "I believe you had said Paella. It does sound tantalizing."

Once they finally made it to their destination, food was ordered and they were comfortably sitting at a table awaiting said food, she was quietly pondering this current situation. She knew he wasn't actually trying to get anything out of her by buying the gown and the food, and his companionship. Regardless, she was more comfortable with him than she had been with Ruggiero. He hadn't pushed her into going home with him like the other man, at least.

He would probably notice her gaze had thawed as she peered at him. She seemed to have relaxed over time, and the sunlight played gently against her Leonean features and coppery hair. Her fingers ran around the rim of the goblet she was drinking from, causing that haunting sound that people could make using glasses filled with different amounts of water. It was an idle gesture, and something she had figured out how to do in the many years she had been learning about Chianti and other wines.

"Thank you for rescuing me. You didn't have to."
word count: 364

Re: Eyes Like Windows

He had not expected her to be so honest with him. To make a mistake and to actually admit that fact actually impressed him. Most people he had met, no matter the sex, did not like to admit they were human, for it was human nature to make mistakes. A brow rose slowly as he watched her, the two of them nearing the eatery, the scent wafting through the air and already making mouth begin to water. But then again, he knew what was to come, and she was going to be the one learning the location of such a good place to feast.

“It is easy to fall in love, but in my youth after the fourth or fifth time, I sadly grew a bit disenchanted with the idea of it. Though, I guess in the last few years, age has relaxed my opinion. I don’t know if I believe in love, but I acknowledge it may exist. As for the wooing you may think I do, initially I was worried you were wet and cold, but, I am finding the longer I spend in your presence, the more I am enjoying it, and desire to do so again.”

When the two of them were guided to table, he seemed to relax slightly, and eyes would settle upon her, for the first time really taking a good, long look at the girl. She was beautiful, there was no denying that, and intelligent, which could be dangerous, but he was someone who actually liked a smart woman. However, when she mentioned the rescue, a brow would rise briefly, before a smile crossed those lips.

“All I did was offer a blanket to a girl who decided to swim against her will.”

Wink flashed her way, that smile seemed so casual with her, she was seeing a side of the Frenchman not many got the opportunity to. The order of food, once it found the table between them, a quick soldier’s prayer offered, before the shells began to crack, and the soft slurping of beautifully flavored juices from within them.

“So, I find it strange you’re unmarried. Are the men here blind, or merely stupid?”
word count: 367

Re: Eyes Like Windows

"I would probably have gotten sick if you hadn't given me that blanket. And I understand..." She murmured as they finally made it to their destination. They were seated and they ordered, or... he ordered without her protesting or feeling the need to, and there was a lapse in the conversation as they began to eat their food. But then he had to go and ask why she wasn't married. She lowered her fork and bit her lip in trying to think of a good answer to him. Eventually, she returned to eating and between bites, looking down upon her food, she said, "My father wanted me to see the world first before I chose my path in life. I've come from a big family and my father has sired plenty of daughters and sons and isn't worried so much about who shall take the reigns of the family business. I've never shown interest in a man until Ruggiero, and... well... you already know about that. Now I am trying to become a nurse, I don't think anyone would want to marry me now."

That was all there was to it. Something to mull over. Any other questions would be openly answered throughout the night and he would learn a lot about the young woman, how she delivered her own sisters and brothers after a certain age, and how she was quite the hard worker... How old she was, how much she hated to talk about the family business but somehow that was her job. He would learn that she hated lies, which is probably why she hated the thought of being someone's Mistress because it would mean lying to her family... She did omit some details of her life but he would learn later.

And before the night was out? They'd arranged for another meeting for another time, and she'd leave him after a long conversation that surpassed their meal and was enjoyable for her and hopefully for him as well. She went back to her busy life that day with feelings budding for Phillipe despite fighting his charm half the day...

To Be Continued
word count: 365
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